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Turner veep Sprunt set to step down in April

Turell, exec VP for the WB, is possible successor

Veteran Turner staffer Julia W. Sprunt announced Wednesday she plans to retire at the end of April after 20 years with the company.

Corporate vice president of public relations, human resources and corporate resources for Turner Broadcasting System Inc., Sprunt said she is leaving in order to devote more time to her family, as well as philanthropic interests.

Brad Turell, exec VP of network communications for the WB, has been suggested as a possible successor. Turell has been a close associate of Jamie Kellner, who was recently tapped to replace Terry McGuirk as chairman and CEO of Turner Broadcasting. Turell is said to be mulling the position, which would require a move to Atlanta.

A TBS spokesman said Sprunt’s departure had nothing to do with the recent merger of TBS parent Time Warner and AOL. During her tenure at the company, Sprunt worked closely with Ted Turner and McGuirk, who play less central roles at the newly merged company. McGuirk, who will stay at the company as vice chairman, will cut back on his workload dramatically.

Not forced out

In a statement, Kellner made it clear that Sprunt was not forced out of the company.

“Julia has overseen an incredibly important and wide-ranging portfolio at Turner,” said Kellner in a statement. “I asked her to stay on, but she felt that the time was right to make this change.”

Sprunt oversees public relations, internal and external communications, human resources, corporate philanthropy, community affairs, planning and advertising placement, photo services, print production and presentation services for the company. She also supervises the CNN Studio Tour and the Turner Store retail operations. In addition, she serves on the TBS Inc. executive committee.

Since joining the company in 1981 as a marketing manager with Turner Network Sales, Sprunt has held various ascending positions, including VP of marketing for TBS Superstation.

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